Chocolate is great. Nay, it’s truly amazing. It’s a favored treat for millions of people around the world. It has even been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years and just recently researchers have discovered its heart healthy properties. So, you really can’t go wrong with chocolate. However, not all chocolate is created equal. We have broken down the healthiest chocolate for you.
White chocolate is the least healthy because it doesn’t contain any cocoa powder and more sugar than dark varieties. Chocolate comes from the cocoa plant, which is full of natural plant nutrients that prevent premature aging and cancer. Milk chocolate still contains less sugar and less cocoa powder than dark chocolate. Even dark contains some sugar, but it should be one of the last ingredients. Look for chocolate that is 70% to 85% dark. The darker the chocolate the more flavonols it has. Flavonols are antioxidants that are credited with having the most of chocolate’s health benefits like preventing heart disease. Dark chocolate can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure too. Its antioxidant properties are more powerful than red wine or green tea.
And why does chocolate make us feel so good? The compound, phenylethyamine (PEA), could be responsible for the pleasurable feeling you get after eating chocolate. After eating chocolate, natural feel-good chemicals called endorphins are released in your brain. The brain releases PEA when people are falling in love. Maybe that’s why chocolate and Valentine’s Day are so closely associated with each other.
All in all, dark chocolate is the healthiest choice. It is best to avoid products that contain artificial sweeteners, corn syrup, or hydrogenated ingredients. Chocolate can be healthy, make us feel good is and ever so scrumptious, but everything in moderation, of course. So go ahead and indulge in a bar of chocolate that is delicious in flavor and high in antioxidants, but not in calories.